One of the UK's largest hotel chains, Travelodge, is defending its decision to remove Bibles from all of its hotel rooms.
The budget hotel company took the Bibles away in 2007, but the decision drew international attention after the Daily Mail and other media outlets reported the removal last week.
Now, the hotel chain – which is a different company from the Travelodge chain in the United States – is explaining the decision to remove the books.
"Travelodge made the decision to move copies of the Bible from its hotel rooms and place them at reception for customers to borrow in 2007," a hotel spokesperson told The Blaze on Tuesday.
"This decision was based on customer research and the fact that we live in a multicultural society.
"Therefore in order not to discriminate against any religion, customers who would like a Bible can pick a copy from any one of Travelodge's 500 hotel reception desks across the country, whilst staying at the hotel."
Last week, a hotel spokesperson mentioned another reason for the removal.
"People were also taking Bibles away and with the redesign of the rooms, it was felt that it would be better to remove them," they said in a statement.
The Church of England decried the decision.
"It seems both tragic and bizarre that hotels would remove the word of God for the sake of ergonomic design, economic incentive or a spurious definition of the word 'diversity,'" a spokesperson said.
The Daily Mail reported that Travelodge is the first national hotel chain to permanently remove Bibles from its rooms. Britain's largest budget hotel chain, Premier Inn, confirmed that they will continue to offer Bibles in their rooms.
"Bibles are available in Premier Inn rooms," a statement read.
"On the rare occasion that a customer does not wish to have a Bible in their room, they can request this to be removed ahead of their stay by contacting the hotel directly."